Academic Development

The self-access learning center (SALC) at KUIS has been offering courses designed to help learners understand how to manage their self-directed learning for some time. Throughout this time, we have been investigating the degree to which elements of the courses are effective for improving awareness of self-directed learning using various research approaches. In the coming years, we would like to expand our research to understand more about how/whether autonomous learning contributes to language proficiency and awareness of the learning process. If you are interested in joining one of our current projects, or proposing a related project, please get in touch. ​

Current research projects

Investigating if students develop self-regulated learning strategies in a nested MOOC course, and attributions to that development where applicable. (MOOC-19-1)
Curtis Edlin, Huw Davies and, Yuri Imamura, Kanda University of International Studies, Chiba

An investigation into whether / how strategies develop as students take a SALC MOOC course.
Research questions: (1) Do students develop and use learning strategies while taking a MOOC course (2) If so, how do students acquire these strategies>?

Evaluation of the tandem learning project (Tandem_16-19)
Satoko Watkins, Kanda University of International Studies, Chiba

A study investigating the tandem language learning project between KUIS students and students of Japanese at Hawaii Pacific University.

ELI / SALC SDL pilot (Project ID: SDL-2018-20)

Neil Curry and multiple co-researchers, Kanda University

Through interviews, surveys and collaborative classroom activities and observations this project will test the potential of teaching SDL skills in freshman English classes.

Measuring the effectiveness of time management training in EFL classes (SDL-TM_2018)
Phoebe Lyon, Chris Arnott, Neil Curry and Jo Mynard, Kanda University of International Studies, Chiba

Using quantitative and qualitative methods, the researchers are investigating the effectiveness of a series of lessons that teach students about effective time management with the goal of incorporating activities into the core English curriculum for the benefit of all students.

Developing speaking self-evaluation activities for Freshman English classes (SALC-18-4)
Ross Sampson, Scott Shelton-Strong and Neil Curry, Kanda University of International Studies

This project investigates these two research questions: To what extent does student self-evaluation of speaking performance impact on self-perceptions of their speaking abilities in terms of comfort and competence? To what extent do learners value the process of reflection in self-evaluation, and is it seen as beneficial to their language learning experience?

Publications related to autonomy and academic development

Arnott, C., Curry, N., Lyon, P., & Mynard, J. (2019). Measuring the effectiveness of time management training in EFL classes: Phase 1 of a mixed methods study. Relay Journal, 2(1), 86-101.

Barr, A., & Lyon, P. (2017). How to support students in selecting graded readers. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 8(3), 247-254. Retrieved from

Carson, L. (2012). Developing a deeper understanding of learning processing during unguided complex learning tasks: Implications for language advising. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 3(1), 6-23. Retrieved from

Curry, N. (2019). A new direction: Developing a curriculum for self-directed learning skills. Relay Journal, 2(1), 75-85.

Curry, N., Mynard, J., Noguchi, J., & Watkins, S. (2017). Evaluating a self-directed language learning course in a Japanese university. International Journal of Self-Directed Learning, 14(1), 37-57. Retrieved from

Hasegawa, Y., & Thornton, K. (2014). Examining the perspectives of students on a self-directed learning module. In J. Mynard & C. Ludwig (Eds.), Autonomy in language learning: Tools, tasks and environments. Faversham, UK: IATEFL.

Lammons, E. (2013). Principles: Establishing the foundation for a self-access curriculum. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 4(4), 353-366. Retrieved from

Lammons, E. (2013). Encouraging student evaluation of language learning resources. IATEFL 2012 Glasgow Conference Selections, pp. 51-53.

Lammons, E. (2014). Ongoing development: Pathways and challenges. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 5(2), 173-177. Retrieved from

McCarthy, T. (2010). Integrating Project-based learning into a traditional skills-based curriculum to foster learner autonomy: an action research. The Journal of Kanda University of International Studies, 22, 221 – 244.

McCarthy, T. M. (2011). Developing a classroom-based self-access learning course: A course evaluation. ELTWO Journal, volume 3. Retrieved from

Moore, P. J., Mynard, J., Wongsarnpigoon, I., & Yamamoto, K. (2019). Autonomy and interdependence in a self-directed learning course. Relay Journal, 2(1), 218-227.

Morrison, B. R. (2011). The bespoke syllabus, objective setting and WIN analyses. Independence IATEFL Learner Autonomy SIG Newsletter 52, 16-18.

Morrison, B. R. (2011). On Self-directed learning modules for independent learning: IELTS exam preparation. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal 2(2), 51-67. Retrieved from

Morrison, B. R. (2013). Learning behaviors: Subtle barriers in L2 learning. In J. Schwieter (Ed.). Studies and global perspectives of second language teaching and learning, pp. 69-89. Charlotte: Information Age Publishing.

Morrison, B.R. (2013). Creating diagnostic frameworks for supporting focused, effective, self-directed learning. In T. Pattison (Ed.). IATEFL 2012 Conference Selections, pp. 47-49. Canterbury: IATEFL.

Morrison, B. R. (2014). Self-directed language learning. English Teaching Professional 92, 4-7.

Morrison, B. R., & Navarro, D. (2014). The autonomy approach. UK: Delta.

Mynard, J., Curry, N., Noguchi, J., & Watkins, S. (2017). Studying the impact of the SALC curriculum on learning. Studies in Linguistics and Language Teaching, 27, 45-58.

Mynard, J., & Stevenson, R. (2017). Promoting learner autonomy and self-directed learning: The evolution of a SALC curriculum. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 8(2), 169-182. Retrieved from

Noguchi, J. (2014). Evaluating self-directed learning skills in SALC modules. Studies in Self-access Learning Journal, 5(2), 153-172. Retrieved from:

Noguchi, J., & McCarthy, T. M. (2010). Reflective self-study: Fostering learning autonomy. In A. M. Stoke (Ed.), JALT 2009 conference proceedings (pp. 160-167). Retrieved from

Shelton-Strong, S. J. (2018). Fostering the development of language learner autonomy through peer- and self-assessment. Relay Journal, 1(1), 21-46.

Takahashi, K., Mynard, J., Noguchi, J., Sakai, A., Thornton, K., & Yamaguchi, A. (2013). Needs analysis: Investigating students’ self-directed learning needs using multiple data sources. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 4(3), 208-218. Retrieved from

Thornton, K. (2012). Evaluating a curriculum for self-directed learning: A systematic approach. Independence, 55, 8-11.

Thornton, K. (2013). A framework for curriculum reform: Re-designing a curriculum for self-directed learning. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 4(2), 142-153. Retrieved from

Watkins, S. (2015). Enhanced awareness and its translation into action: A case study of one learner’s self-directed language learning experience. Language Learning in Higher Education, 6(2), 441-446. doi:10.1515/cercles-2015-0021

Watkins, S., Curry, N., & Mynard, J. (2014). Piloting and evaluating a redesigned self directed learning curriculum. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 5(1), 58-78. Retrieved from

Werner, R. J. (2014). Investigation of students’ autonomous plans to improve speaking. In J. Mynard & C. Ludwig (Eds.), Autonomy in language learning: Tools, tasks and environments [ebook]. Faversham, UK: IATEFL.

Werner, R. J. (2017). Using transcription to improve noticing and develop effective learning plans. In T. Pattison (Ed.), IATEFL 2016 Birmingham conference selections (pp. 144-146). Faversham, UK: IATEFL.​

Werner, R. J., & Kobayashi, Y. (2015). Self-access and metacognitive awareness in young learners: How Japanese sixth graders learn how to learn English. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 6(4), 399-412. Retrieved from

Yamaguchi, A. (2014). Evidence of learner autonomy in a self-directed learning course. In J. Mynard & C. Ludwig (Eds.), Autonomy in language learning: Tools, tasks and environments. Faversham, UK: IATEFL.